For the first time in two weeks, higher education institutions in Colorado got some good news.
On Monday, Gov. Bill Ritter went on record against the proposed $300 million cut to higher ed, but offered no suggestion as to where else those cuts should be made instead.
According to Ritter spokesperson Evan Dreyer, the announcement came after a realization last week that the proposed cuts put the ability of Colorado to receive $760 million in federal stimulus funding for all levels of education in jeopardy.
In order to protect that, Colorado must not drop below the 2005-2006 higher ed funding level of $555 million, according to Dreyer.
For students and other members of the higher ed community, this could be a positive sign that institutions statewide may not have to close doors or engage in extreme layoffs. But it still leaves much to be desired.
Soothing words may be pleasant to hear, but they don’t necessarily translate into action.
The current incarnation of the Long Bill — higher ed cuts intact — is currently working its way through the House Appropriations Committee. So far, the bill has met little opposition. There’s a chance that, even with Ritter’s announcement, that won’t change.
If the bill does make it through the legislature, Ritter has not committed to a veto, so there is a chance that the proposed funding slash will stand. This is a problem.
Ritter’s announcement is definitely a good step, but what we really need is a plan. Here’s to hoping it’s on the way.